Monday, 27 October 2008

Tips To Share Big Pictures With Friends, Online

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No festival is complete without pictures. As families gather around the table to celebrate Diwali, Dussera, Christmas, Id or Holi, there are endless Kodak moments that need to be snapped and captured for posterity... With the digital revolution, these moments have got bigger and better with each passing year.

Bigger may be more flattering, but they also pose a problem: how does one share them without jamming mailboxes? Email doesn’t allow you to attach a full-size 10-megapixel picture because many service providers don’t allow file attachments that big. There are photo-sharing websites, but here too, pictures have to be resized. And then when you resize them to a 1-megapixel image, they are too tiny to print and good only for a passportsized image. So is there another option? Of course there is. Simply stop emailing digital photos.

Instead share full 10+ megapixel images using any one of the following services:

1. Drive in the Sky
How would you like to have your own hard drive in the sky? Well Microsoft’s SkyDrive gives you exactly that. Think of Sky-Drive as a hard drive located in a cloud that you can access anytime or anywhere there is an internet connection. Plus this service allows you to give access rights to anyone you choose. The best part is that this hard drive is free, the only pre-requisite being a hotmail account, which many people already have. All you have to do is log on to and sign up with your hotmail password and you can store all sorts of files—music, photos, documents—and share them with whoever you wish to.

The best part of the service is that you can store these pictures in such a way that only a certain group of people will be able to access them, unlike other photo-sharing services that lets random people gawk at your personal pictures. However, there are a couple of downsides. First, the storage space is limited to 5GB, so there is no way to share videos yet. Secondly, the people you share your pictures with will need to have some kind of a hotmail passport account to see those pictures, although this problem is hardly insurmountable.

2. Web Server at home
Why not simply have your very own server at home. Imagine a tiny, virtually silent computer that you can tuck into a closet and control using an internet browser. Brilliant, right? is one such tiny piece of software that turns your windows PC into a hosting server. This means you don’t need to use any hosting services to share your pictures. The cool thing with software like Purplenova is that if you’re willing to keep your computer on and sacrifice your bandwidth, anyone and everyone can see your files through a browser. So instead of uploading your pictures or videos to websites like Flickr and YouTube, you can simply store them on your own machine and have friends view them from anywhere over the world.

This is how applications like Purplenova work: first they figure out where your computer is. Then they redirect a web address (URL) so that it appears to be hosted on to your computer. This URL can be used by people to access data on your computer. Along with Purplenova there are other software that let you do similar things. For example, Sharenow ( But this suffers from drawbacks too. First, if you intend to turn your PC into a server, you need to have your machine up and running almost all the time. Also, you’re giving away precious bandwidth by letting people use it for downloads when you could save that cost by uploading shared files once and for all to another host.
Source: The Sunday Times report

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